Maize Meditation

September 6, 2018 – October 6, 2018

McCarthy Art Gallery at Saint Michael’s College, Vermont

Overnight Projects is pleased to present Maize Meditation, a performative installation by New York based-artist Amanda Turner Pohan.

For the month of September, artist Amanda Turner Pohan will transform the McCarthy Art Gallery at Saint Michael’s College into a library of archival materials documenting a timeline of corn cultivation, from the agricultural practices of members of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation of Vermont to the rise of American agricultural biotech corporations. The artist self-published a newspaper as part of the exhibition, which includes contributions by Chief Shirly Hook of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree representing the 1st District of Maine, curator Rachel Vera Steinberg, and Abenaki artist Amy Hook-Therrien.

To mark the final year of harvest of the 66 acre cornfield leased from St. Michael’s by a local farmer, this project invites participants to attend an event in the gallery on the weekend of the fall equinox. This event will look at the ways in which techniques of agricultural biotechnology are invisibly embedded in the genetically modified corn consumed today, and how the invisible technology inscribes itself on/into individual, social, and political bodies. Participants will be invited to sit and eat a four course meal consisting of corn-based foods. The artist will guide participants through the meal using a meditative dialogue. Each course will be paired with an excerpted reading from the exhibition’s newspaper publication read by Chief Shirly Hook of the Koasek Traditional Bank of the Koas Abenaki Nation and Mark Lubkowitz, a maize geneticist and Professor of Biology at Saint Michael’s College. The participatory event will begin in the gallery foyer at 5pm on Saturday, September 22, and will conclude with a silent group walk to the campus cornfield.

This exhibition is funded by the Marc and Dana vanderHeyden Endowment in Fine Arts with additional support from the Saint Michael’s College Fine Arts Department

The exhibition documentation includes the following elements:

Landscape #1e7f78, wall paint color-matched to the chemical treatment applied to Monsanto Roundup® Ready corn seeds, Amanda Turner Pohan, 2018

Abenaki Koas Corn, (framed drawing) Amy Hook-Therrien, 2018

Last harvest, video documentation of the cornfield located on Saint Michael’s campus, 14-minute video loop with audio field recordings, Amanda Turner Pohan, 2018

Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet® Popping Corn (butter flavor), popcorn bag, Amanda Turner Pohan, 2018

Maize Meditation, newspaper publication with contributions by Chief Shirly Hook, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Amanda Turner Pohan, curator Rachel Vera Steinberg, and artist Amy Hook-Therrien, fall 2018 edition

Book cart – please feel free to browse through the books in the book cart

TV monitor – “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry”, DuPont company promotional video, 1936

Chairs and newspapers – please feel free to sit and read the paper